We Produce The 2016 Rising Tide Capital (RTC) Start Something Champions (TSSC) Gala

2016 START SOMETHING CHALLENGE - (from left to right) Guest Manager and Allure Consultants CEO Marelyn Rivera, Event Producer and THISLEARNING® CEO Kris Van Nest, Stage Manager Mason Beggs

  2016 START SOMETHING CHALLENGE - (from left to right) Rising Tide Capital CEO/Co-founder Alfa Demmellash, THISLEARNING® CEO/Founder Kris Van Nest, Rising Tide Capital COO/Co-founder Alex Forrester



The 2016 Start Something Challenge was a success!

THANK YOU to the Honorees, Speakers, and Distinguished Guests for your support of Rising Tide Capital, entrepreneurs, and our community with your involvement in the 2016 Start Something Challenge Gala. Special thanks to the team at Rising Tide Capital for their tireless hours creating the event, and our team for helping making it happen.

Your participation helped make this one of our most successful events ever!

It was an amazing event to be part of from every perspective, and I’m honored to have been able to work with you to bring it to life. Your involvement brought together what I feel represents the best of our community and our common goal to transform lives and communities.

Thank you again and CONGRATULATIONS on our collective success! 




We are excited to announce THISLEARNING® has been contracted to provide audio / visual, event production management, and videography services for the 5th Start Something Champions Gala held at The Liberty House November, 2016. Working closely with Rising Tide Capital, our services will include media arrangement, selection, cue-to-cue, guest and VIP guidance, and more. 

This year we're grateful to also bring back our team of key vendors and consultants:

The Event Production Manager contract for the Start Something Champions Gala is one of the biggest contracts of the year for Rising Tide Capital. We will work closely with RTC staff, featured speakers, and audio/visual providers to design and coordinate the Gala’s program of activities.

"...a critical member of our gala team is our event producer Kris Van Nest. Kris’ video production company is called THISLEARNING and while we have hired him in the past to produce video for the gala, two years ago we asked him to help us produce the entire event—to liaise and negotiate with all of our AV vendors, keep our scripts on track, and help us to design the event. Two galas later and while Kris is still responsible for video, I think it is pretty safe to say that he has cemented his role as event producer. Like so many of our entrepreneurs, Kris isn’t just a vendor. Whether he’s working on video or our gala, he has a vested interest in our success—he wants to make sure that we are telling the story of our work in an effective way, and he goes above and beyond to ensure just that." – Esther Fraser, Director of Communications / Rising Tide Capital from Keeping Dollars Circulating In Our Local Economies

You can read more about us being hired as Event Producer in the Rising Tide Capital article here.



The Start Something Challenge (SSC) is a statewide pitch competition and business strengthening opportunity for New Jersey entrepreneurs. If you are interested in networking, perfecting your elevator pitch, gaining visibility for your business venture, and winning a $10,000 business grant, the Challenge is for you!

The Challenge is organized by Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that helps underserved entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses, and funded by a network of visionary supporters. More than just a business pitch competition, the Challenge also provides participants with opportunities to learn about local business resources, and receive hands-on coaching and mentorship. This ensures that every participant has the best-possible chance at winning the top prize. Free to enter, the competition is open to any New Jersey resident over 18 years old, who operates a business earning less than $250,000 annually, or has a strong business idea. 


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